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Hiromi Endo earns first Grand Slam title
17 Mar 2018 18:10
Endo Hiromi of Japan had a day to remember at U48kg as the two-time Asian Championships winner won all four of her contests at the Grand Slam in Ekaterinburg. Former World Judo Masters winner Endo, 25, has world champion Tonaki Funa and Olympic bronze medallist Kondo Ami ahead of her in the Japanese pecking order which meant that today was a must-win.
The first gold medal of the competition went to Japan when Olympic champion Paula Pareto (ARG) received her third shido in the closing seconds.
In the first semi-final Pareto defeated The Hague Grand Prix bronze medallist Katharina Menz (GER) who received her third and final shido for passivity at the halfway mark. In the second semi-final Endo held down European bronze medallist Monica Ungureanu (ROU) for 20 seconds and ippon to advance to the gold medal contest.
The first bronze medal contest saw 2015 Junior World bronze medallist Ganbaatar Narantsetseg (MGL) win her first senior international medal at the expense of Ungureanu. The 23-year-old Mongolian threw with a ko-soto-gake for a waza-ari which was the only time the scoreboard was troubled as Mongolia won the first medal of the Ekaterinburg Grand Slam 2018.
The second bronze medal contest opposed Warsaw European Open winner Erdenetsogt Gerelmaa (MGL) and Menz and it was the German judoka who prevailed. Menz needed 29 seconds of golden score to produce a waza-ari with a uchi-mata to deny Mongolia a bronze double at U48kg.
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